The Nine Elements are a set of ideas central to Clann Bhride as a whole. Rather than strict tenets of what each of us believe, the Nine Elements express the diversity of thought and practice that may exist within our group. Some members may be drawn more toward Brighid as the Gaelic triple goddess found in Cormac’s Glossary (#2), as a primordial creative spark (#3), or as St. Brigid of Kildare (#4). Some may prefer to express devotion through contemplation and prayer (#1) or by working toward peace and social justice (#5). We can our nets wide as to who and what kind of beliefs are welcome in Clann Bhride.
You can also read the Nine Elements with commentary as they appear in our Book of Hours.
1- Clann Bhride, or the Children of Brighid, is a religious order for devotees of the goddess Brighid who feel called to a lifestyle of daily prayer and spiritual practice. Children of Brighid strive to live lives of extraordinary devotion and focus, and to do Brighid’s work in this world by any means possible under Her guidance.
2- Children of Brighid live as priestesses and priests of the goddess Brighid in all Her forms and by all Her names, including the three sisters Brighid the Poet, Brighid the Smith and Brighid the Healer, the daughters of the Dagda in Gaelic lore.
3- Children of Brighid honor Her as a primal creator deity, who forged the universe (like a smith) or oversaw its birth (like a midwife) or sang it into being (like a poet).
4- Children of Brighid recognize St. Brigid of Kildare as an avatar of the earlier goddess, and consider the lore of the saint to refer equally to the goddess.
5- Inspired by the example of St. Brigid of Kildare as well as other manifestations of the goddess Brighid such as Brig Ambue and Brig Brethach, Children of Brighid are committed to working for social justice and advancing the cause of peace.
6- Children of Brighid honor and reverence Her as a goddess of Gaelic origins, but also consider Her to be a much older and vaster deity known by different names and by different peoples. Among the Celtic peoples, all of the goddesses of the “Celtic Minerva” type may be worshiped and honored as part of our practice. Some of us believe that some or all of them are the same goddess, but this is not a required doctrine.
7- Children of Brighid acknowledge and honor Her history within Gaelic culture, but do not consider Her to be solely a Gaelic goddess.
8- All goddesses associated with the sun, moon, and stars, fire, fresh water, fertility and abundance, healing, knowledge and the crafts necessary to society may be honored as part of this practice.
9- Children of Brighid worship our goddess as a real entity, rather than a metaphor or archetype. She hears our prayers, She appreciates our offerings and She communicates with human beings through inspiration, dreams and other means. As important as it is to study Her lore and history, it is even more important to establish a personal relationship with Her, because She is still in the process of revealing Herself.